Have you noticed the fresh new plantings in the beds on Main Street in downtown Bothell?
The downtown beautification project was a joint collaboration between the City of Bothell, the Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, and local business owners.
The project was spearheaded by Leigh Henderson, owner of Alexa's Cafe & Catering and candidate for Bothell City Council, after the idea was sparked by Tyson Kemper, Gardener Lead for the University of Washington Bothell.
It turns out that the Main Street garden beds can do more for the city than look pretty. According to Kemper, this year's design includes themed beds to be able to give back to the community. The North side of the street focuses on pollinator plants to support local bees and other pollinators in Bothell and the surrounding areas, as well as herb gardens where citizens can clip a sprig or two and share in the bounty.
The South side of the street will feature cottage gardens. Kemper says that these plants are obviously meant to be beautiful but also "engage people in a slightly deeper way with their diversity, their different structures and shapes and colors, and of course with the herbs being able to give back to the people in the community."
Henderson and Kemper have been actively coordinating with the Bothell Kenmore Chamber, Nik Stroup from the City of Bothell, and individual downtown businesses for over six months. The plants went in the beds on June 10th, 2019.
"We wanted to bring life back to the beds," says Henderson. This program is the result of successful collaboration between the business community, city government and the University, and is an example of what's possible with teamwork.